Becoming a better communicator is a strange experience. Once you learn of new ways to do and say things and it starts working, you begin to notice how much other people don’t do those things (a similar thing happens when you start going to therapy).
It gets to the point where it feels impossible not to notice. And it’s not like you’re casting judgment on those people (at least you better not!), but it can make it more difficult to engage with people who are set in their ways and refuse to improve how they relate to others through the way they communicate.
As such, we often hear people ask: well, I’m the one doing all the work and no matter what I do, this person won’t respond in kind. Sometimes that can mean they won’t do what you want them to do…but that’s another conversation for another day. Other times that can mean that the other person is unwilling to at least meet you halfway and you don’t know what to do about it.
Advice our founder often gives is: the only thing you can control in this life is what goes in and out of your mouth. You can’t control the weather, your dog, or how people will respond to your new way of communicating (i.e. drawing boundaries, expressing your needs, speaking up more in meetings, etc.).
If you’re not getting the response you desire, that doesn’t mean giving up on the work, or even the person, for that matter. It just means you need to be clear about what your boundaries are and how much you’re willing to take or how much grace you’re willing to give.
When you know you’ve done all you can to be an active participant in improving the health of the relationship and the other person is invested in refusing to do their part…then sometimes that is all you need to know. Trust your instinct for the rest and respond accordingly.